Monday, April 30, 2012

Blocking Spammers and Moderating Trolls on YouTube

It's annoying how social media platforms make it difficult to block people. When you are being followed all over the internet by a spammer like LPBband, a boring generic techno group, it should be easy to block them from sending you messages and emails, and from posting comments on your pages.

Unfortunately, it's not always easy to figure out how to block someone. In fact, it is often a hidden option. In such cases, you need to Google it, for example: "Block YouTube user". Even then, the instructions are odd.


To block a user, navigate directly to their Channel page. On their Feed or Featured tab, you will see a section on the right hand panel of their page which states Created By: UserName. Next to their name is a drop-down arrow where you will see (Block User | Send Message). Click Block User.


There is no way you'd know that the little down arrow next to Created By: UserName would be where the Block User tool would be found.

Block User should be a prominent button next to Subscribe To User or similar action.

This obnoxious LPBband is a pain in the butt.

On my Str8 Sounds page on ReverbNation, they kept adding themselves to my Fans list, then deleting themselves, than adding again, over and over, so they'd remain in the Recent Fans display, thus visible, rather than dropping into the All Fans link. (ReverbNation has recently changed their UI user interface, so Fans are configured into Top Fans and All Fans.)

LPBband kept manipulating my Recent Fans display, posting self-promotional comments, and sending me private messages to check out their latest song.

I finally got fed up with their tactics. I deleted them and blocked them from my ReverbNation page. But they keep showing up on my other social networks.

It's a shame that Blocking users is often hidden in a drop down menu that is rendered as a tiny arrow, and is not intuitively evident as the location of the block tool. 

See: official YouTube answer to Blocking Users on YouTube

YouTube trolls typically are among the most immature and vile of all internet trolls. They tend to use F bombs, racist attacks, sexist slurs, and other junior high school mentality tactics.

For business and individual YouTube accounts, it's a good idea to configure your settings to Allow Comments with Approval Only.

That way, you can monitor all comments prior to them being visible to the public. If you feel a comment is trollish, abusive, irrelevant, or flat out insane, you can delete it and it will never have been seen to pollute your YouTube video.

But you must set this preference for each video you upload. For some mysterious reason, YouTube does not provide a setting to make this universal for all your videos.

To do this in the New YouTube User Interface:

Video Manager > Select a video > Edit > Advanced Settings > Allow Comments > Approved.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

22 Buttons Beyond "Like" for Facebook

Facebook's Like button is not enough. We need the ability to express a wide range of reactions. Wouldn't you love to have buttons you could click to warn people about what they're posting, to voice disagreement, or to express emotions other than that namby-pamby Like?

Buttons needed on Facebook include:

(1) Dislike button
(2) Hate button
(3) That's Totally Stupid button
(4) Rogue App button
(5) Get A Life button
(6) Partially Agree button
(7) Vehemently Disagree button
(8) Please Link To Supporting Evidence button
(9) This is a Spammy Game Invite button
(10) No More Cat Photos Please button
(11) Boring Photograph button
(12) Mute Your Drunk Postings button
(13) Employer Surveillance Risk button
(14) Stalker Fodder button
(15) Child Endangerment button
(16) TOS Violation button
(17) This Is a Joke, Right? button
(18) Stop With the Relentless Inspirational Quotes button
(19) Not Office Safe button
(20) Way Too Personal button
(21) Not Interested in Why You Hate Your Boyfriend button
(22) Unintelligent Extremist Viewpoint button

BONUS Buttons:

(23) Vaguebooking Alert button
(24) Political Propaganda Nonsense button
(25) I Know You Won't Tolerate Opposing Views button
(26) Your Employer Won't Like This button
(27) Please Stop Sharing Posts and Say Something Yourself button

Friday, April 27, 2012

How NOT to Begin an Email Sales Message

What I say about email marketing has application to social media postings, as well as all other forms of sales and communications.

This is how NOT to begin an email marketing message:

"I sent you the below email two days ago. If you haven’t had the chance to read it, I encourage you to do so immediately. The response from readers has been outstanding . . . thousands have already received a __________".

I have a preview panel in my email client. So I can hover my cursor over an email BEFORE I open it, and thereby read the first few sentences. If a strong benefit, aligned with my actual interests or needs, does not appear in the preview panel, I DELETE the email without opening it.

This email intro quoted above begins by scolding me. I can almost hear a whining voice, almost see a scowl on the face: "I sent you...two days ago..." Ever get a complaining email from a good friend? He's mad at you because you didn't drop what you were doing to respond immediately to his email about some trivial thing? Guilt tripping is NOT an effective marketing tactic. It alienates people.

"I encourage you to...." What's with all the I's? I this. I that. I sent. I encourage. When does the "YOU" enter in? Only when they want YOU to BUY some junk. Prior to that, it's all about I, WE, US, IT (the product).

"The response from readers....thousands have already...." ??? What do I care about what others have done? The hackneyed old "Jump on the Bandwagon" marketing ploy doesn't work as an opening logic. That should come as a P.S. or footnote. Far better are free trials, free samples, or actual testimonials from people you can contact to verify the truth of the claim.

The main point of any marketing message is what YOU will gain, a benefit for YOU, based on YOUR interests and YOUR needs.

Far better approach might be something like “You recently expressed an interest in web design tools. Well, here's a tool you'll find useful on a daily basis. Eyedropper is a Chrome extension that enables you to pick colors from any web page and match them in your own project...”

Begin with a strong YOU statement, followed by WHAT you're promoting, along with a strong BENEFIT to the user.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Click on image for LARGER view.

Shrine today at my ascetic hermitage.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Misinterpretation as Anti Troll Weapon

Internet trolls LOVE to make other people upset and disrupt an intelligent discussion. They do whatever juvenile thing they can think of to attract negative attention. They crave angry reactions. 

I have written extensively on this topic of blogocombat. There are many powerful techniques to defeat a troll, although the best thing to do is ignore them. Do NOT Feed the Trolls. But, if you want to mess with them just for fun, one great tip is to misinterpret what they say. 

That's right. I said: -- Misinterpret.

If a troll says, "iPhones suck and only idiots buy them" -- you reply "I agree, iPhones really shock me with how great they are. You nailed it. They shock. Astonishing functionality!!!" 

Now THAT will really tick them off. EVERY single thing they say, twist it around, deliberately fail to understand their statements, and reply as though they are AGREEING with you. 

If a troll says, "You know what I said. Quit pretending you don't understand. You're just acting stupid. I said iPhone suck, not shock."

Reply: "I think you're right. iPhones do get stuck sometimes when you're in a building with a lot of electrical grids. Just shake it a few times. That will straighten it out."

Or use this technique of tangent tuna torpedoing: "You are correct. Eggplant parmigiana is much better than chocolate anchovy chili."

The greatness of this amusing technique is in the fact that no matter what the troll says, you can distort it and make it backfire. Exasperated trolls are a beauty to behold. By deliberately misinterpreting each remark they make, their own tool of abuse and confusion has thereby been neutralized.

What most trolls will do in this situation is get crazy angry, start using vile language, and administrators will kick them off and ban them.

The more they troll, the more you come right alongside it and misinterpret, making everybody laugh at them, which is the opposite of what they want. By utilizing this clever and effective technique, you may go so far as to de-trollify a person and steer them into proper participation in online discussions. Wouldn't that be nice?

I Am The Troll Smasher.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Resistance to Social Media

I've been actively engaged in analyzing and participating in social media since May 2005. As I've observed the realm of blogging and online community networking, I've seen two broad categories of negativity toward social media.

(1) Mainstream Media. They still don't understand social media very well. They often claim to have "professional journalist" standards, but this elitism is precarious. Many violations of ethics and professionalism occur in the press, especially in right wing and left wing extremist media.

Bias, harsh declarations, factual errors, filthy language, unfair analysis, sweeping generalizations, and personal attacks are becoming more common in the traditional media. The list of unacceptable words and inappropriate subject matter is dwindling rapidly.

Many online versions of newspapers still don't allow comments to be attached to the thread of a specific article. Newspaper operations have not yet realized that they can expand their articles online, since space restrictions don't apply like they do in print versions.

Crowd sourced investigations and reporting are still not implemented as widely as they could be. Paywalls, requiring people to pay for an online subscription to read articles, are killing their SEO (search engine optimization) and link dissemination.

(2) Personal Objections. There are individuals who shun the internet, or abstain from social media altogether, or rarely post anything on their Facebook pages. Some people say they don't have a computer in their home and don't want one.

Others are shy about expressing themselves publicly, or having their photo taken and put on a website or blog. These same people are generally very heavily into TV, radio, newspapers, and movies.

They tend to be older, about 40 years old and upward. Often they seem to have a subconscious inferiority complex: they feel so out of it, they have given up, and express a sour grapes attitude.

Other times, they seem to be into computers only for playing games or looking up product reviews. User generated content and interacting with others online is of no interest to them, unless it's related to multi-user gaming. It doesn't mean they're unintelligent, they just have different priorities than us heavy users of social media.

Then you have the dubious class: those who have warrants out on them, or have made horrible, shameful mistakes, and flee any more recognition online. They are actually hiding and distancing themselves from past actions or police arrest.

I have seen personalities come alive in social media. Some people may not have known how funny or clever they were until they started posting things on blogs and social networks. Others feel relieved to state opinions and discover that others agree with them, so they don't feel so isolated and "different". And those who engage in ferocious online debates become smarter and more adept at presenting and defending their ideas.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Obsessive Online Image Posting on Facebook

Here's a freaky situation that I had to deal with today on Facebook...

I'm sorry, but I can't handle constant bombardment of weird online behavior, where someone keeps posting things on one subject, in this case a fictional TV show character.

Especially when it's just an image, with no remarks or explanations. It's like they're trying to hypnotize you by flashing this image at you repeatedly.

It's downright creepy. If you're a fan of some celebrity or star, and occasionally post some news item or update, that's okay. Idolizing a beloved actor is not that unusual.

But when you keep posting the actor's picture, it goes beyond innocent, sane behavior, and starts to look like a lunatic intensity that is very unsettling.

I finally got fed up and had to block someone who kept compulsively, relentlessly, maniacally posting photos of David Caruso of CSI Miami.

I mean every 15 minutes, there'd be another photo of the guy. I don't even think this character is all that handsome or interesting looking. But even if he was, who wants to keep seeing new photos of him hundreds of times a day?

As a friend of mine on GooglePlus said:


and not to forget: this is one of the worst actors in the world. "sunglasses on", "sunglasses off" - thats all


Rigid. Unremitting. Obdurate. Adamant. Inflexible. Unyielding.

Such steady, persistent, bizarre activity gets on your nerves after a while. It makes you feel like the person posting these images is mentally unbalanced, a cyber-stalker, a wild fanatic who is obsessed in a disturbingly unhealthy manner.

It's just not normal to post photos of someone that is adored from a distance, spamming your Facebook feed, with no commentary, no links to anything related to the show, just the guy's picture, like I said -- over and over again.

Blocking someone doesn't hurt them or shame them. It's not punishment or condemnation. It just frees you from being subjected to something you don't wish to experience.

I didn't want to message her and ask her why she is doing this. She would just get defensive and maybe hostile.

I can't make anybody stop posting anything. But I don't have to be victimized by their unusual behavior either. I can remove them from my feed and enjoy the peace and sanity that is achieved by doing so.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Expressing Impersonalized Opinions - a Great Blogocombat Tactic

Sometimes in an online debate, your best tactic is to NOT express your own personal viewpoint.

Instead, just say that there exists a type of person who holds a viewpoint, without referencing yourself as agreeing with it. Or state that "Some would disagree and say...."

For example, there's a thread where people are debating how alcohol impacts society. There seems to be a lot of "if you oppose parents who sponsor alcohol parties for underage kids in their homes, it's just because you struggle with alcoholism yourself."

You feel that is an unfair assessment, so you state "A person who is opposed to alcohol for teenagers may not necessarily be a recovering alcoholic. They may just feel that alcohol abuse causes more trouble in society than soda pop, and kids should wait until they reach the legal age to drink."

When a hostile advocate of teen drinking parties accuses you of being an uptight jerk, and rants about how young people drink alcohol in Europe, you can then counter by saying, "I didn't say I myself felt that way. I just said that there is that point of view, some people hold it, and I didn't think that angle was being considered in this discussion."

Or "Your point of view is often refuted by those who say....."

When you distance yourself from all viewpoints, and make assertions in an objective manner, you defuse a lot of the explosives in an argument.

Phrases that can come in handy include: "some people believe that..." and "there are some reputable specialists in this field who would say that...." and "another point of view I've seen expressed states that..." and "have you considered the position that certain other people might have on this issue?" as impersonalized expressions of alternate perspectives.

People tend to want to attack the person, rather than discuss the idea they present. You make that impossible when you refuse to be cornered. You remain mysterious, not taking sides, but suggesting a viewpoint that is not being considered.

This may anger some people. They may even demand, "Well, do YOU hold that opinion yourself?"

They want to drag you into the fight in a personal way, so they can attack you directly, which is easier than attacking some nebulous abstract mass of individuals.

They can't throw verbal stones at "other people" who are not in the debate individually, so they hope they can get you to divulge yourself to represent this contrary view, and then they can start stoning you personally.

Don't let them trick you into making the argument personal. Remain aloof, above the fray, detached from personal investment in a specific opinion.

If a combative person can get you to reveal how you personally feel about something, that gives them the opportunity to start bashing you, labeling you, and dismissing you as "just another left wing / right wing fanatic" or whatever the category may be that they want to demonize.

This technique of Expressing Impersonalized Opinions can be of great value when you feel like saying something, but know that tempers are hot -- and some of the participants in the discussion are acting childishly, or may even be trolls just trying to make people upset.

I consider this technique to be one of the most effective and important tools in online discussions that you will ever discover. I base this on my vigorous engagement in blogocombat since my entry into the realm in May 2005. That's when I started my infamous Vaspers the Grate blog. I retired it some years back, partly because people thought "Grate" meant "great, terrific, fantastic" (but it meant "abrasive") -- and now I blog in the persona of the Pluperfecter.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How to Select a Profile Avatar Picture

People often wonder what to use as their profile or avatar picture, like for Facebook, GooglePlus, and other places online. Your profile avatar picture is what identifies you. It's your opportunity to reveal who you are.

Some like to use a cartoon, brand logo of business they own, abstract image, or old high school photo. Others use a group photo, where they are standing next to a friend or sibling. Some even use a baby photo. A musician might use the image of a guitar or synthesizer.

What's my recommendation?

Use a current photo of just yourself alone. Your actual self.

Preferably a smiling face with your hair done nicely and wearing appropriate attire. No sunglasses if you're a business person, since that is interpreted as "having something to hide".

Now let me rush right into saying this is not easy for me. 99.99999% of my photos look terrible. When I smile, I tend to look goofy. I struggle a lot with my profile avatar picture. It's not easy for me to practice what I preach in this instance. In fact, I think I look a lot better in sunglasses. But that's not the best image for a business person.

Why am I insisting on a real photo of your current self? Because it increases credibility, especially if you're promoting your expertise or skills, or want people to recognize you offline, in the real "meat space" world.

Trolls and cyber-bullies often use cartoon images, pirates, Hollywood stars, Einstein, and other celebrity photos or abstract images to conceal their true identity. When I see a profile photo or avatar ID that is not a current photo of the person, I immediately get suspicious. It DOES NOT mean that you're up to no good. It just makes me wary and cautious.

Plenty of nice people will disagree with me on this one. They prefer to use an icon that is not their real self. Some may fear stalkers or have other good reasons not to use their actual face.

Using a "younger you" photo, like you as a baby or high school student, may confuse people. Baby photos are especially unwise, as I myself don't want to friend or follow babies or little children on Facebook. I prefer to hang around people 18 or older in most cases.

A photo of yourself from many years ago may cause people to wonder if you're being deceptive, trying to make yourself look younger than you really are. It's not a real good policy.

I take a lot of photographs and do a lot of video filming. In almost every case when a person does NOT want their face to be public, there's probably a bad reason for their secrecy or "shyness". Not always. But frequently. I've known people who had warrants out on them, and they'd cover their face when I pointed the camera in their direction.

This is not an ironclad rule. There are exceptions. But consider what I say.

Use a current photo of yourself -- unless you have a good reason not to, for privacy or security concerns. A current photo of your real, smiling face will be considered more authentic, transparent, and honest.

Monday, April 16, 2012

20 Common Website Mistakes That Hurt Your Business

Small and medium sized business (SMB) websites continue to have serious flaws.

It's very difficult to find a truly proficient web design provider.

BEFORE you pay a web designer to build your website, check out their portfolio of sites they've designed. If they're making these mistakes, you need to consider a more professional web designer.

Look at your current website and see if it contains these errors:

(1) generic, inappropriate, or ugly design

(2) sparse content that doesn't fully explain your business and what differentiates you from competitors

(3) no compelling call to action to motivate immediate sales

(4) no names or photos of staff (cold, impersonal)

(5) no links to social media presences

(6) no frequently updated News page

(7) insufficient About page

(8) we-oriented fluff instead of customer-centric, benefit-focused content

(9) no local or toll free phone number

(10) no email link

(11) no contact form to request info

(12) not mobile compatible
(13) rotating Flash images that distract from main message

(14) horizontal scrolls due to poor sizing

(15) light gray text on white backgrounds (poor readability)

(16) dense blocks of text without paragraph breaks (poor readability)

(17) no photos of product being used by customer to solve a problem or meet a need

(18) no video showing product from various angles, or showing CEO being friendly, explaining company, and sharing expertise

(19) Quick Time plugins required (poor usability)

(20) music, radio jingle, greetings, or other audio that automatically plays when you visit site (distracts from main message, impedes site navigation).

If your website contains errors like these, contact me.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blog Security: Use Your Blog to Achieve Success

Job security is an oxymoron. Feeling secure in a job is old fashioned. "Get a good job and hang onto it" is no longer the way to succeed. Companies are disappearing. Businesses are closing. Stores are shutting down. The storm is starting to hit Peoria.

Your only security is in your expertise, education, and experience. What are you good at? What problems can you solve? What do you have a lot of knowledge about? What value can you provide? What talent do you have to an amazing degree of perfection?

Use your blog to showcase your skills and accomplishments. Prove you can do a job by displaying your talents online. Share your expertise in your blog posts. Make your blog act as super resume, mega portfolio -- a grandiose exhibit that demonstrates what you know and what you can do.

Looking for a job is old school. Proving you can do the job is the new way.

Your blog will be your weapon against obscurity and poverty. Your frequently updated blog is where you show the world what makes you special -- how you accomplish goals and achieve results.

But a poorly designed blog sends out a bad message. There are many ways to mess up. If your blog is not effective, you've shot yourself in the foot.

If you need help with blog design, content, and strategy, contact me.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com

Saturday, April 14, 2012

FREE Advice vs Pricey Implementation

See that sign under the Snow Route sign? You can't read it. It's washed out. That's how many business owners feel about social media. They know they should be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GooglePlus, YouTube, a blog -- but they have no real direction, no strategy or game plan.

To establish myself as a genuine expert on social media marketing, I grind out a lot of tips and essays on the subject. I answer questions on Facebook when people ask me about social  media, QR codes, business blogging, and related issues.

Why do I give out tons of FREE marketing, social media, and web technology information?

Because on their own, even the best and smartest ideas don't accomplish anything.

It's the implementation that matters. It's how you apply my genius suggestions and techniques to your specific business -- that's where the rubber meets the road. That's the tricky, difficult part.

That's what sets me apart from your Johnny-come-lately "social media marketing expert" with no track record in converting traffic to sales.

I've been doing web technology work since 2000. I've been blogging since May 2005. Before that, I had a successful career as a direct marketing/advertising writer, working on Madison Avenue and Wall Street.

So here I go, tossing wonderful, proven, successful methods around like I'm strewing roses all over the place. Aren't they pretty? Don't they seem so perfect? Wouldn't you love to gather them up and bestow them upon your company?

Ah, but you need my implementation strategy, targeted and tweaked for your customers and your industry-specific competitive advantage. And that's going to cost you. Quite a bit in fact. But it's an investment that will pay off quite nicely.

If you implement marketing ideas incorrectly, you could damage your company's online reputation, lose customers, and decrease sales. We don't want that to happen, do we?

Contact me today.

steven [dot] streight [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, April 13, 2012

JC Penney - No Hope for the Store Change

JC Penney? My wife says the "change" sucks. She used to love shopping at Penney's. Today she returned from the store and said she does not like the women's clothing now on display. She couldn't find a thing to buy.

She said the clothes look cheaply made, unimaginative, and unattractive. She was so disgusted (her word), she went over to Macy's to spend some money.

Ron Johnson, the new CEO of JC Penney used to work at Apple Computer. His plan is to combine ideas from WalMart and Target and the retail Apple Store. Sounds to me like a recipe for disaster.

Here is one of the stupidest ideas they're using to rescue the troubled brand: JCP’s “Town Square” (imitating the Apple Store "Genius Bar") will offer special, seasonal, non-product attractions in the center of each store, like free haircuts or free ice cream.

You can tell a male is at the head of JC Penney. Women are very fussy about who does their hair. "Free haircuts" would probably work better at a homeless shelter.

And women aren't going to want to eat fattening comfort foods, like ice cream, while shopping for a new outfit.

Don't sabotage a lady's diet, and tempt her with junk food, then try to entice her to buy clothes.

Bottom line: desperation is not a good source of marketing strategy.

A unique vision is what's needed today, not imitation or emulation. Now more than ever, businesses need to listen to customers and give them the "experience" they want, not impose some grandiose scheme upon them.

InvestorPlace: "Even With Apple Genius, New J.C. Penney Might Be a Tough Sell"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Complain About Changes to a User Interface?

RE: today's unannounced revision of the GooglePlus design.

I can't speak for others, but for me, it's definitely NOT about my being "resistant to change" or seeking to remain cozy in a "comfort zone".

You often hear status quo butt kissers claim that criticisms of a new design are simply people "whining" because they "fear change".

But for me, my critiques are about usability, readability, user expectations, and dumb ass programmers tinkering with things that work fine, just so they can hang onto their job and not get laid off.

Many geeks are complaining, with justification, about the ways in which the new GooglePlus user interface (UI) is worse, not better. It's not all bad, mind you, just mostly bad.

Twitter and Facebook also have implemented a lot of "upgrades" that are actually downgrades, changes made just for the sake of change, and not in reaction to user requests.

User requests are often ignored.

Designers tend to change a UI simply because they themselves are tired of it and want to try tweaking something, moving things around, and then see how users respond, if they even care what the user reaction is.

Or, as I stated already, they are the ones in fear. They fear losing their job. So they arbitrarily slide things around, label things with new titles, turn black text into gray text ("more subtle", ie, unreadable), hide important tools in drop down menus, make unpopular tools more prominent...all in the name of "an evolving vision of what the site owners want the site to be".

But users often disregard what the owners want, and use a site in ways the designers could not have predicted. It's a major mistake to enact change for the sake of a "fresh look" that is based on designer boredom rather than on user needs.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

iPhone 5 Sneak Preview

Finally. The iPhone 5 release date is revealed. Or is it just another silly rumor? Here's a sneak peak at this revolutionary advance in cell phone technology. 

In related news, biologists contend that human hands are evolving into being smaller and smaller to accommodate these devices.

Monday, April 9, 2012

How Geeks Can Intimidate Bullies Now

Beware the aggressive geek. The code is mightier than the sword. Or "How a Computer Nerd Can Intimidate a Big Jock". LOL

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Posting Things On Someone Else's Facebook Wall

Be careful about how often, and what it is, you post on another person's Facebook wall. Inappropriate or unwanted postings can be a sure way to annoy that person -- and may even get yourself Blocked or Unfriended.

A person's Facebook wall is a very personal and private thing. It's where we express ourselves, our thoughts and experiences. To find something on our wall that we did not post can be alarming and even angering in some cases.

It might be considered spam, especially when it is of a persuasive, commercial, political, or religious nature. It's not a good idea to just assume that you can post something you believe in or like to another person's wall.

Instead, if you wish to alert someone to something you think is important and relevant, send them a private Facebook message with a link to that item. That way, if the other person appreciates it and wants to post it on their wall, they can do so. If not, they can ignore it.

Also, if you post something publicly, other people can post it on their wall by simply clicking Share. That also enables them to add some commentary to it.

As a general rule, the only time I post something to someone's Facebook wall is when I have a photo of some relevance to them.

Photos of music bands, for example, are probably going to be appreciated. Fans do this frequently when they saw a band performing and took photos of them. It makes it look like a band has fans who really care about them. And who doesn't like seeing photos of ourselves doing something we're proud of?

Parents may feel perfectly fine about posting photos of their children on grandma's wall.

I recently posted an old photo of my nephew to his Facebook page. I have posted to a restaurant's Facebook wall photos of food I've ordered at that restaurant, along with a brief review of praise. Yesterday, I posted on the Peoria Riverfront Museum's wall a few photos I took in March of the construction of that structure.

You may have your own ideas of what is appropriate to post to someone else's Facebook wall. Just be sure that the other person will not be offended or disturbed.

And don't you be offended if they delete it. It may not mean they consider you a jerk; it may just be that they just don't like anything on their wall that they didn't post themselves.

Remember: if in doubt, send a private Facebook message to the person, with a link to what you thought about posting. That enables the other person to retain control of their own wall, and if they like it, they can post it themselves.

If your business or non-profit organization needs help managing your social media marketing, contact me. :^)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Magical Science, Fanatic Devotees, and Augmented Reality Glasses

Google's Project Glass has created quite a stir in tech circles. As usual, a wild frenzy is unleashed as geeks dream of a science fiction world where they have super powers. Augmented reality glasses seem to promise yet another step toward this fantasy.

Enter Technological Inevitability also known as the Technological Imperative -- the faith that what can be made must be made -- and humans must submit to it without question.

When something new is invented, everyone must cheer and applaud. "Awesome" is the only acceptable response.

This is the religion of science worship. No dissent is permitted. "Progress" is what they call the march of new devices and new theories. To question the rationality or benevolence of a new development is taboo.

"We have all the tools we need now for a perfect society" is the chant of some devotees. Science will set us free. Oh really? I see governments trending toward totalitarianism, in spite of the so-called democracy movements and the rapid evolution of technology.

We see this mythology of Magical Science now in the silly hysteria over Google Goggles or the Glass Project. Smart glasses with augmented reality. Everybody wants them. Everybody is wild about them. No one is allowed to rain on their little parade. You must not disturb their fantasies or debunk their desires.

I don't care. I'm going to do it anyway. I reject the "everything is happening but nobody is happy" moaning. We critique technology because it often goes wrong and results in horrible consequences.

Here are the potential problems I see with augmented reality glasses that are internet enabled:

(1) Messages distract the person and make them less aware of their surroundings, thus resulting in accidents and injuries. Applying a layer of visual information on top of physical reality has positive aspects, but is similar to people wearing headphones and listening to music as they walk, or paying too much attention to car stereo music as they drive. More attention on the augmentations equals less attention on the environment itself.

(2) Hackers, user error, admin error, or viruses cause bad information to be displayed on the glasses, subverting the wearers and causing harm to them.

(3) People become too dependent upon smart glasses guiding them and telling them what to do, and thus become inept at what used to be easy and natural behavior, like walking to destinations.

(4) Eye ailments caused by the smart glasses, similar to the prevalence of dry eye in long term computer screen gazing.

(5) Internet integrated too obtrusively into a person's consciousness, so that independent thinking and detached, non-internet perceptions become rare.

(6) Ads and spam clutter can be distracting and cause loss of awareness of surroundings.

(7) As with most new communications technology, the danger of privacy-violating surveillance and intrusive tracking of individuals via augmented reality glasses is to be considered.

ADmented Reality - Google Glasses Remixed with Google Ads

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mad Magazine about politics

Finally. Political analysis I can really support. Unfair. Unbalanced. Real.

Politicians exemplify what I saw on a Mad Magazine poster from years ago: "The man who has everything....wants two of everything."

Insatiable. Insane. Inept.

The higher up you go, the less they do and the less they know.

They're supposed to be lowly, humble servants of The People. They are supposed to bend to our wills. They are supposed to be free from corruption. falsehood, and hidden agendas.

Also see the new Beta version of Mad Magazine online.